Monday, December 17, 2007

Brett's Tooth

I guess deep down I knew it was inevitable with three boys in the family and all, but I don't know if I was ready for this day to come so soon... On Tuesday we had our first hockey-related injury. Brett took an accidental stick to the mouth while playing floor hockey with Scott, Samantha & Jesse at the church. His front tooth was not chipped, broken, or knocked out - but it was somehow pushed back up into his gums.

We took him to the dentist right away for an x-ray, and he assured us that it will be just fine, since it is still a baby tooth. Uncle Gibb? Can we get a second opinion here? (Just to give you an idea, his two front teeth used to look identical to the one on the right. Also, this picture was taken right after it happened, but for the three days after his upper lip got really big and swollen.)

Brett was such good sport about the whole thing, and really hasn't complained much. He did get to pick a toy out of the dentist's Treasure Chest and has been begging Scott to play Chess with him every day since (he picked out a dollar-store chess set from the chest). Actually, for five years old, Brett is quite good at Chess and has come close to beating Scott once or twice. And don't think for a minute that Scott isn't trying his hardest. I have learned that letting a kid win at a game (in order to boost his or her self-confidence) is totally a female inclination, and that guys will totally try their hardest to win, even if it means crushing a three-year-old's heart because you just beat him or her at tic-tac-toe in ten consecutive games.

Anyway, Brett's lip is almost back to normal now, and his tooth hasn't turned a shade of gray or anything, but the worry wart in me is wondering if his permanent tooth has been affected at all. I suppose only time will tell.

Snowed In

We've had a big snow storm here that has blessed us with somewhere around 30 cm of snow in the past 24 hours, and it's still coming down.

We enjoyed a fun family day of relaxing, wrapping presents, watching Christmas movies, eating lots of clementines and chocolate, and listening to Christmas music. It was wonderful!

Although I admit the snow is beautiful... the truth is I really enjoy it the most when I'm looking out my window, snuggled under a warm blanket by the Christmas tree with my slippers and hot chocolate. I'm definitely a wimp when it comes to getting bundled up to shovel it, scrape it off my van, or (heaven forbid) drive in the stuff. I think Scott and I are destined to be snowbirds, because as soon as the cold settles in we both start dreaming of Florida and Dubai.

The kids, bless their hearts, are thrilled with the snow and can't wait to get outside for snow angels, sledding, snowball fights, and snowmen, and I remember feeling the same way as a kid.

Speaking of Christmas Music, my dear friend, Meaghan, recorded a Christmas CD with two other female artists, to raise money for the Maritimes Food Bank. You can read about the details here, and you can even listen to samples from the CD and read a message from the artists. Scott and I just got our copy last weekend and we LOVE it! We have been listening to it nonstop for the past few days.

I hope you are all enjoying your Christmas preparations and finding fun ways to spend time with family and loved ones!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

One Year Older... More Adorable Than Ever

Scott turned 33 today. He thinks his life is half over now, or in his words, "I'm halfway there."

! *roll eyes*

We talked about going out for dinner, but ultimately decided to stay home with the kids, as we have something going on every other night this week. Or maybe it was because Scott's becoming more of a homebody in his old age and doesn't want to go out anymore, I can't remember. I offered to make him any meal and dessert of his choosing, and he asked for homemade pizza and chocolate mousse cake. (I think he was trying to let me off easy, wouldn't you say?)

Four years ago I unintentionally started a tradition of taking Scott shopping for something on his birthday. Just for those rare things that he needs that I wouldn't be able to pick out for him, like I usually do with jeans, shirts & ties, shoes, clothes, and well, pretty much everything. But it started with sunglasses four years ago and last year it was hockey skates, and this year it is going to be running shoes and/or basketball shoes. (What do you mean that's not as exciting as a shopping trip to Cleveland?) Scott is always reluctant to go, as he doesn't like to spend any money on himself, but he always comes around eventually...

Scott and I first met just over 11 years ago, but it feels like we've known each other forever. He is a loving, supportive husband, and truly my best friend.

Happy Birthday, Scotty. I love you!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Samantha In Alberta

I've posted pictures of Brett, Jesse, and Nathan from our trip to Alberta, but not any of Samantha yet. Okay, maybe one picture of her here, but that's it! I think this would be a good thing to do before 2008. So, for your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of Samantha's adventures on our family vacation to Alberta in August of 2007. Enjoy!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Lots of Snow, Two Christmas Trees, and One Curious Brain

We put up our Christmas tree last weekend. The kids were so excited, as they were *positive* we were the last people on earth to put up our tree! Can I just say that I am forever grateful to the person who invented pre-lit Christmas trees? Not having to string lights on the tree not only saves us about two hours of tree-decorating time, but also makes it way more fun for the kids, who only care about the ornaments anyway.

In my perfect world, we have two trees. One is covered with homemade ornaments made of pipe-cleaners, popsicle sticks, paint, and glitter, with of all the decorations covering the bottom 3 1/2 feet of the tree because that's how high up our kids can reach on their tip toes, and another tree that looks something like this:

(Yeah, still working on that second one... maybe next year?)

I really do love our Hodge-Podge, totally-doesn't-match-or-have-a-theme tree. As we take each ornament out of the box, we always remember where it came from or why it holds a special meaning and we share those memories as we hang it on the tree. I love this tradition of ours.

Winter must have seen our tree and decided it was time to visit London this week. The first couple of snowy days were slightly stressful at times, as I somehow underestimated how long it takes to get everyone bundled in snow pants, boots, coats, mitts, scarves, and hats, yet the school bus doesn't take this into consideration and adjust it's schedule accordingly, unfortunately. Thankfully nobody missed the bus, but we may have had a couple close calls. I think part of the problem is that our kids are really good with Velcro, but beyond that, any tying, zipping, buttoning, or snapping has to be done by Mom. We'll have to work on that.

Jesse has had fun riding to school on our toboggan, pulled by Scott. He was loving it so much that the day I picked him up in the van he flat out refused to leave the school, and said he wouldn't step foot out of his classroom until I agreed to walk him home in the snow.

Scott took all three kids tobogganing this afternoon on the hill close to our house, the same one I used to toboggan down as a kid. I stayed home with Nathan and got caught up on dishes as our dishwasher has been broken broken for two days now and the dishes have been piling up.

Tonight when I went up to put Samantha to bed, I found her wrapped in an empty plastic bag that had been ripped into strips and tied around her body. She was jumping and playing around like she always is at bedtime, as if these were her everyday pj's. I asked her where she comes up with her ideas. She looked at me very matter-of-factly and said, "Mom. I have a brain. And a curious one." Well, what do you say to that? I mean, just because I've never been curious about the most fashionable way to turn a plastic bag into a nightgown, doesn't mean it's not perfectly normal, right?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Nathan at Eight, Nine, and Ten Months

Okay, I'm slacking a bit on the monthly baby updates for Nathan! Here's what he's been up to for the past three months...

Nathan learned to crawl and pull himself up on furniture. He can even stand on his own for a few seconds, which he finds so exciting that he laughs every time he does it.

Nathan is starting to talk, much to his siblings' delight. He says "bye", "mama", and "oh". He also gives kisses and high fives. He has four teeth now, and bites on everything. He is eating mostly table foods, and loves to feed himself. He opens cupboards and drawers and likes to play with remote controls and cordless phones. He likes to eat tiny inedible objects such as perler beads and k'nex rings, which I later find in his poopy diapers. He loves to chase Oscar and pull his tail. Oscar is surprisingly good with Nathan, even when he's losing fur by the fistful.

Nathan weighed in at 21 lbs 14 oz at his nine month check-up. He then proceeded to get sick with the flu bug that hit our house last week, which caused him lose some weight (not sure how much, exactly, but my guess is maybe 2-3 lbs). In a matter of six days he went from being very chubby to pretty average. You can actually change his diaper without mounds of thigh getting in the way, and we discovered that he has wrists too. I was very distraught over his weight loss and as soon as he started eating again, I made it my life's goal to fatten him back up. I was giving him all kinds of foods that would normally be off-limits, such as milk shakes and Christmas cookies, and slathering everything else in inches of butter (toast, english muffins, cooked veggies). In spite of all my efforts, I don't know if it will make any difference, because babies have this amazing ability to not overeat. They just take what they need and when they get full they stop opening up anymore. ( I, on the other hand, have no self control whatsoever and eat anything that looks appetizing - which is why I try not to keep chocolate in the house.) He'll be weighed again in a few weeks when he turns one, so I guess we'll find out then how much his overall growth has been affected. I wonder if I could introduce whipping cream to his diet instead of the usual whole milk? Kidding! (maybe)

Now for some more pics...

First time standing up at the ottoman

Here's what Nathan's hair looks like when he wakes up from a nap....

... Good thing he has Jesse to give him a makeover

A close-up of the 'do

As you can see, Nathan is well on his way to approaching toddler-hood and I'm really going to miss these ever-so-precious baby days.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jesse's 4th Birthday and Other News

There's so much to catch up on - where to start? First of all, Jesse's birthday was fun! We kept it pretty low-key, just some play time with the family at Adventure's On Wonderland, and he got to bring along one friend. Alex came over after school, so we had some time to do some crafts and stuff here first (open presents, eat dinner, etc). Here are some pictures:

Before school with his birthday cupcakes (you can't tell from the picture, but he had picked out gummy spiders to go on top).

Decorating Party Bags - Hey Brett, you might want to lean in a little so you don't get cut out of the picture!

Jesse chose this for a craft - painting piggy banks (Go figure - our one child that loves money as much as Alex P. Keaton)

Nathan - crawling around wondering why he doesn't get to participate in the cupcake baking, piggy bank painting and party bag decorating.

Jesse and his lovely orange drink mustache

That's Scott in the left corner having a ball war against the four kids

This past weekend Scott ran a Volleyball tournament at church. It was a lot of fun, although I didn't get to see too many of his games as I was running a Nursery for small children of some of the players (including our own). Thankfully, I had a couple of people to help out here and there, as we actually had, at one point, 23 children aged 8 years to 10 months in the Nursery. But I did enjoy the few minutes I was able to watch Scott - he's a pretty good volleyball player! Come to think of it, I can't think of a single sport he's not good at.

I don't have any pictures to share from the tournament, but I do have a couple from the weekend before. What a fabulous time we had in Cleveland! Samantha & Nathan were angels on the drive there and home. I was so glad I had Samantha in the back to hand Nathan a sippy cup or some Cheerios every so often! She's becoming quite a big helper.

Samantha & Jayna reading together the morning we left. Oh, and since it was Gibb's birthday that day, Jordana made German Pancakes with this yummy apple syrup - they were AMAZING!

Jordana and I spent most of the time shopping, of course, and we had so much fun! The first day we shopped at this great outlet mall about 40 minutes from her house where we found some awesome deals. I got tons of cute clothes for the kids. I think the best deal ever was a skirt for Samantha for $0.99! And this GAP sparkly sweater, which was 30% off the lowest ticketed price of $3.99! C'mon, that's practically FREE! The next day we went to the mall, which was a little more expensive, but I needed my Bath & Body Works fix. And I found a pair of shoes at Nordstrom at 8:59 PM on Friday night, my last night there, 1 minute before they closed. Another great place I discovered is this store called Marshalls (just like Winners in Canada). I found nice winter boots for Samantha & Brett, a winter coat for Samantha, and tons of practical stuff like socks and underwear for the kids (all name-brand) - and my total purchase was under $75.

Overall the trip was great, except for this one little thing that happened on Thursday night. It looks like this:

(In case you can't tell, that's a crack in my rear bumper. You know - the bumper on the new van we got to replace our old van that was stolen from our driveway the night Nathan was born).

So, we were driving home from the outlets on Thursday night, and I was going pretty slow to begin with as the weather was bad. This guy driving a blue Ford Mustang hit me from behind and then spun out in front of us and I had to come to a complete stop to avoid hitting him (did I mention we were on the highway?) Then he took off, exited the highway, and continued speeding away until he finally had to stop at a red light (at which point we got his license plate number). We went to the police station to file an accident report - luckily nobody was hurt. But when the officer called the guy to get his side of the story, he denied the whole thing and says he noticed me following him, but that he's not the one who hit us. We had to wait at the station while the officer drove to the guy's work to check out his car. (Meanwhile, I'm totally bummed because this whole thing was really cutting into our precious shopping time!)

After the officer saw the dent in the exact spot we described, the guy proceeds to tell the officer that the dent was "there when he bought the car". Riiiiiiiiiight. Anyway, to make a long story short... our insurance company is working it out, and hopefully we'll have a new bumper soon.

This post has grown long enough, and I need to go to bed, as I'm a little under-slept due to a flu bug that's been going through our family for the past two days. I've been the only one who's managed to avoid it and I'm hoping I've become immune after washing five sets of bedsheets and piles of blankets, plus scrubbing out carpets, couch cushions, puke-bowls, and pj's non-stop for 48 hours.

But I have one more thing to share before signing off. Uncle Eric and Aunt Chrystal had a baby boy on November 21 (Jesse's birthday)! Welcome, baby Dane - we can't wait to meet you next summer! Dane is my first cousin, born to my Mom's little brother and his wife. I think it's kind of cool that he's the same age as our youngest child - don't you just love big families?